PhD for Innovation at Bergen Summer Research School 2022

At the 2022 Bergen Summer Research School, we facilitated the joint sessions on “Systems thinking and creative interdisciplinary problem-solving and project management” with participants from all six summer school courses (some 100 in total).

The theme of the 2022 Bergen Summer Research School was “Understanding and addressing inequality”. During our interdisciplinary sessions, we collaborated with UNICEF.

The challenge for our participants was to envision policies to address individual citizens, institutional managers, national politicians and private sector executives – bringing together material and immaterial resources that must be recognized and covered to give every person the possibility of living up to their potential, starting with a satisfaction of their basic needs.

These policies were to be formulated in the form of a policy brief. Specifically, participants were asked to shape policy recommendations that

  • Embrace each dimension (individual, family, society, planet);
  • Allow a gradual implementation by international organisations (i.e.UNICEF);
  • Are underpinned by the understanding that individual wellbeing is the cause and consequence of collective wellbeing.

The entire summer school was held online, and so were our interactive sessions. For the hands-on experience with systems mapping, this meant, for example, that we had to recruit 10 facilitators who conducted online mapping sessions with some 10 participants each. Here are some sample maps that were created during these sessions.


Time was, as always, short and the task challenging. However, our wonderful participants rose to the occasion and delivered a total of 10 Bergen Summer Research School policy briefs.

PhD for Innovation fall 2022

Between November 14 and 18, 2022, we ran PhD for Innovation in person. Course participants were working on the question whether Norway should mine the deep sea. For this purpose, they had to work in small interdisciplinary teams and engage in a one-week negotiation exercise. Teams were challenged to develop robust, evidence-based, stakeholder-oriented mandates and publish them in the form of a policy brief aimed at policy makers. Across teams (representing different stakeholder groups), a joint negotiation document summarizing the outcomes of the negotiations had to be agreed upon.

Innovasjon for Renovasjon og Gjenvinning fall 2022

This is a modified version of the PhD for Innovation course with a specific focus on industry partners. We ran this course for the second time in the fall 2022 and centered the innovation challenge around the challenge of circularity in the Norwegian building industry.